Specialized Power Mirror saddle long term review
How good does a saddle need to be before it’s worth US$450? That depends, mostly, on how well you get on with other saddles. If you already found your happy seat, the Specialized Power Mirror probably isn’t worth it. But if you struggle to find comfort, this unique, 3D-printed design might be worth a look.
There are plenty of other high-quality saddles out there, and for the most part, you can pick up a whizz-bang saddle with all the “normal” tech for anywhere between $150-200 less. So does that extra cash make for a better fitting, more comfortable saddle? And is this a technology that we will see elsewhere in use on the bike?
To keep things snappy, I won’t delve too much into the tech behind how this saddle is made; if you want a deeper dive, then check out my first ride of the Power Mirror way back when humans were allowed to mingle at a bike race. The short and sweet description is that the upper uses a 3D printing process called DLS; this is where UV lights “print” the upper in a bath of liquid. This process has allowed Specialized to produce an upper that has minimal limitations in how they can adjust the comfort, support and pressure hot spots.
It’s a world away from the foam and gel padding of old, far more tuneable. That fancy upper is then paired to a FACT carbon shell, and just like the upper, it is tunned for flex, support and comfort. Finally, the rails are oversized and again made from Specialized FACT carbon.
Like the rest of Specialized’s Power range, it comes in two widths, 143mm and 155mm. Weight on our scales is 193 grams for the 143mm saddle, and the 155mm saddle adds just an extra four grams (that’s a manufacturer claimed weight).
Is the Specialized Power Mirror comfortable?
Yes. It’s super comfortable.
Our tech writer Ronan Mc Laughlin. recently reviewed Assos’ JohDah jacket with its wallet robbing price tag of $750. And just like Ronan, I fall into the camp of from the get-go wanting to hate the product for it’s asking price yet, finding myself struggling to tap into that hate to once I’ve used it. Quite simply, Specialized in their collaboration with Carbon, the company behind the printing process, they have knocked the ball out of the park when it comes to keeping your undercarriage comfy and sported.
I’m not the only one who thinks so. Our editor-in-chief, Caley Fretz, had it on a list of ten things he loved in 2020.
I go into far more detail in the video above, but here’s the gist: The 3D printed upper feels like no other saddle I’ve ever used. It’s softer to the touch, which is normally a bad thing, causing hot spots after long days. But this one doesn’t cause hot spots. You sink into it like a well-worn couch and it holds you there in sublime comfort.
The variable firmness throughout the upper seems to be the truck. There is a bit of a cutout down the middle, but rather than just leave a gaping hole, that cutout is filled with super soft, squishy, open-cell type material. It supports you better, while not putting any real pressure where you don’t want it.
I was initially concerned about durability, but it seems to be wearing just fine. There’s no obvious material loss despite half a year of use. I haven’t crashed it (knock on wood) and I do think it probably wouldn’t hold up particularly well to sliding on pavement, but what saddle does?
I’ve tested saddles that are $200 less and are nearly as comfy, but the Power Mirror is a saddle that has given me no reason to hate it. Except for that price.
$450 is a steep asking price, but just you wait, that technology, like most of the tech we have seen on bikes, will trickle down. That means prices will come down, too. For most people, I’d happily state that if you have a comfy saddle you get on with, stick with it. But once this technology drops to a more manageable price point, throw a leg over, you’ll be amazed. For those that can afford it and want the best of the best or at least the best of the best that I’ve tested, you can’t go wrong with the S-Works Power Mirror saddle.
For more thoughts on this expensive but very good saddle, click play on the video above.